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How to Start and Finish Your Live Streams Right

For this article, we're going to concentrate on two often-overlooked portions of a live stream: the beginning and the ending.

After the Stream

Some of your audience may check out early from the broadcast, especially one that’s 90 minutes long. Waiting until the end of the stream to bring up important information may be too late. Because of this, consider preparing graphics that can start to sneak onto the screen while your last presenter is still speaking. If there are websites or contact information to call attention to, bring them up as a lower-third.

With a longer presentation, some viewers may come online late in the broadcast. If this could be the case, consider having summary graphics prepared in advance, or make some on-the-fly during the broadcast. Then, for a few minutes after your broadcast ends, you can loop a slideshow of key takeaways, contact information, social media accounts to follow, or other links.

More Time, More Gear?

If this sounds like a lot of extra work, that’s because it is. But providing some additional polish and effectiveness to your live streams will increase your value to your client, whether it’s your boss or a paying customer. Asking questions ahead of time and getting information to ensure that you're prepared will make you stand out from the competition.

On the bright side, the equipment you’re using for live streams probably already has the capabilities you need to add in these elements. Switchers designed for streaming, like those from NewTek, vMix, Roland, and Telestream, have built-in GFX modules that allow you to create and cue up titles on-the-fly. Plus you can store pre-made video or audio tracks for on-demand use. So even if you have to invest more time into each shoot, at least you shouldn’t have to invest more cash in gear.